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Alternatively referred to as a bus slot or expansion port, an expansion slot is connection or port located inside a computer on the motherboard or riser board that allows a computer hardware expansion card to be connected. For example, if you wanted to install a new video card in the computer, you’d purchase a video expansion card and install that card into the compatible expansion slot.

Many of the below expansion card slots are obsolete.You’re most likely only going to encounter AGP, PCI, and PCI Express when working with computers today. In the picture below is an example of what expansion slots may look like on a motherboard. In this picture, there are three different types of expansion slots: PCI Express, PCI, and AGP.


  • PCI – Network card, SCSI, Sound card, Video card
  • PCI Express – Video card
  • AGP – Video card
  • ISA – Network card, Sound card, Video card
  • AMR – Modem, Sound card
  • CNR – Modem, Network card, Sound card
  • EISA – SCSI, Network card, Video card
  • VESA – Video card

motherboard slots

PCI Express: The best type of expansion slot to have in your PC is the PCI Express, also written as PCIe. Without boring you, the PCI Express type of expansion slot communicates with the motherboard, and therefore with the microprocessor, both quickly and efficiently.


PCI: The PCI slot is the most common form of internal expansion for a PC.

[bs_icon name=”glyphicon glyphicon-exclamation-sign”] Some PCs have a mixture of PCI and PCI Express slots. If so, go with PCI Express when you have that option.


AGP: This type of expansion slot was specifically designed to deal with graphics adapters. In fact, AGP stands for Accelerated Graphics Port. Older PCs may sport this expansion slot, but the best video cards use PCI Express.


ISA: The most ancient type of expansion slot is the ISA, which stands for (get this) Industry Standard Architecture. That’s because it never really had a name until another, better type of expansion slot came along. ISA slots hang around to be compatible with older expansion cards.


PCI slot

 PCI slot


PCI card

PCI card


PCI-e slot (x16)

PCI-e slotx16


PCI-e card (x16)

PCI-e cardx16

AGP slot

AGP Slot


AGP card

AGP card


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